Oftentimes, I find myself craving a smooth, classic, chocolate fix. Not any ol’ chocolate bar, nor a crumbly baked-good. I desire a deep, dark chocolately thing. Something decadent, silky, sumptuous. Last Spring, during the height of the pandemic, I started tweaking my go-to comfort foods so I could find a better balance between joyfulness and healthfulness. This recipe became the darling of my pandemic family pod - satisfying finicky 3rd graders, foodie sisters, and my gluten-free palate alike. Adapted from Alice Medrich’s My Chocolate Pudding (Pure Desserts cookbook), I’ve made this my own in four major ways: I spiced the chocolate with the fragrant aroma of cardamom, traded out the whole milk for almond milk; reduced the sugar, and intensified the flavor of chocolate with a dash of instant coffee powder. The best thing about this recipe is that it meets chocolate lovers in all seasons - classic pudding in the Spring, Fall, Winter, and chocolatey pudding popsicles in the Summer. Or make a bit of both, if you’re like me! Enjoy indulging without the guilt.
Note: you can also use unsweetened coconut milk, oat milk, or regular whole milk for this recipe.
- Prep time 5 minutes
- Cook time 15 minutes
- makes 1 big bowl, 6-8 ramekins or 10-16 popsicles
unsweetened cocoa powder (either natural or dutch-process is fine)
almond milk (unsweetened)
large eggs at room temperature
1 1/2 teaspoons
instant coffee or espresso powder
dark chocolate chips (at least 70% cacao) and I like to use gluten-free chips
whole green cardamom pods, crushed
- In a heavy saucepan, whisk the first four ingredients together (cocoa powder, cornstarch, sugar, salt) and set on the stove. Pour the almond milk into a 2 cup measuring cup and add 1/3 of the milk into the saucepan. Stir until smooth, without lumps.
- Turn on heat to medium-high and add the rest of the milk, stirring constantly. Add the instant coffee powder and the crushed cardamom pod(s), seeds and all. Adjust the heat down to low to keep from boiling. Cook until the mixture starts to steam with small bubbles forming on the sides, for 4-5 minutes. While mixture is cooking, crack 2 room temperature eggs into your 2 cup measuring cup and beat with a fork.
- Now you’re going to temper the eggs with 1 cup of the mixture. Slowly ladle 1/3 c of the pudding into the eggs and whisk continuously. Repeat twice. Pour the tempered eggs back into the saucepan.
- Keep the heat at low, stirring for 8-10 minutes, ensuring that the mixture doesn’t boil.
- Take saucepan off the heat and set a fine mesh sieve over a clean bowl. Pour mixture through the sieve, pushing with a rubber spatula in a circular motion to remove the cardamom seeds and any eggy remains.
- Rinse and dry the saucepan, and pour the pudding back in. Stir in the vanilla extract and dark chocolate chips until melted. If needed, turn heat on low to help melt the chocolate chips.
- Use an immersion blender or a regular blender and process for 10-15 seconds until smooth. You might need to tilt your saucepan just so, in order for the immersion blender to run smoothly.
- Now you get to choose: Chocolate Pudding or Chocolate Pudding Pops? For the pudding, pour into a big bowl or divide among 6-8 ramekins. Let cool a bit and serve while still a tad warm. Or, chill in the fridge, covering with plastic wrap. Serve cold.
- For pudding pops, pour the pudding into 10-16 popsicle molds (depending on your mold size). Let the pudding cool off a little and then pop them into the freezer to freeze. (approximately 5-7 hours). For an extra special treat, chop up some toasted almonds and throw them into the tops of the mold before pouring the pudding into them.